It has become a depressing tradition in Forest Park and Proviso Township. As the days count down toward the election, the evil comes out in the form of slick, expensive, anonymous and actively inaccurate mailers and fliers.
It has begun early this year, as typically the muck hits mailboxes and windshields after the final issue of the local paper has been published and a last chance to fact-check the lies has passed. Today’s Review takes a good look at a couple of pieces from last week that are complex and nefarious. While it is difficult to prove parentage on these pieces, one mailer from last week has the fingerprints of state Rep. Chris Welch’s slate all over it. The ambitious piece attempts to slice and dice both Mayor Anthony Calderone and Forest Park mayoral candidate Chris Harris with a single mailer.
It incorrectly reports that Harris is backing the Welch slate for the District 209 school board race. Nothing is further from the truth. Harris has been an early and courageous supporter of the 209 Together slate of Ned Wagner, Theresa Kelly and Claudia Medina. And it takes off after Mayor Tony Calderone with a string of his alleged failures in office.
Expect a lot of this political malfeasance in the final six days of this election. Ignore the lies. Reject the liars. Don’t vote on fears or on misinformation. But do pay close attention to the intensity of these races, both within Forest Park for mayor and commissioner and for the Proviso Township High School board.
In terms of Proviso, money like this does not get spent unless the Welch forces are seriously worried that their political hold on this school system and its rich contracts and jobs are endangered. There is a spirit of reform that has been unleashed across this abused township and its failing schools. Welch neither wants to lose that control nor have outsiders turning over rocks in his garden.
This is a genuine moment in our community. There is the possibility of real leadership change at village hall and in Proviso. Don’t get sidetracked by the professional politicians with their failing grip on power. Step up and vote for change and possibility.
Here’s a summary of the Forest Park Review’s endorsements published last week:
Mayor: Chris Harris
Commissioners: Joe Byrnes, Rachell Entler, Daniel Novak (We made no endorsement for the fourth seat.)
District 209 Proviso Township high school board: Theresa Kelly, Claudia Medina, Ned Wagner